Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday evening stressed that he is not suspected of anything criminal, despite claims otherwise by mainstream media outlets.

Netanyahu’s comments, in an interview on Channel 20, came as police continue to probe the “submarine affair”, in which his personal lawyer David Shimron was questioned, as well as suspected fraud at the Bezeq telecommunications company, in which Communications Ministry Director General Shlomo Filber was questioned on Wednesday.

"Shimron and Filber, I know them as honest people, people of values, and I am certain and have no doubt that nothing will come out of this,” said Netanyahu, adding, "But these investigations have nothing to do with me and they’ve said it. The Justice Ministry said as well that ‘the Prime Minister did not make a decision that was favorable to Bezeq or was tainted by a conflict of interest.’” Bezeq is owned by businessman Shaul Elovitch, a close associate of Netanyahu.

“As for the submarines, the Attorney General said explicitly that there were no suspicions against me. That does not prevent the media from attacking me. This too will be shelved like other affairs. But in this case it's different, because even the officials say there is nothing.”

“This is an attempt to create an artificial fire,” said Netanyahu, who stressed that the purchase of the submarines was an existential need for Israel.

"The submarines ensure the existence of the State of Israel, no less than that," he said. "I wanted six and even more, there were those who wanted five, there was an argument and a decision was made. We made the decision. Everything is documented.”

Leftist journalists, Netanyahu continued, are trying in vain to link his name with affairs with which he has no connection.

"This is a Soviet method...I am told of the name Miki Ganor (the representative in Israel of the German submarine company –ed.). I do not know who that is, I have never met him in my life, I have no idea what they attribute to him. I know that my decisions, as the Attorney General said, I did not do anything wrong. On the contrary, I did something very worthy. I am viewed as the barrier standing in the way of the rise of the left to power and I have to be removed. In the past they succeeded,” said the Prime Minister.

"Decisions about the submarines and Germany are sensitive and are important for the future of the State of Israel," he stressed. "This discussion should not take place in public, it causes real harm to the State of Israel, the investigators know it, everyone knows it. They know that I am not a suspect. One thing I can say is that to use this - to endanger the security of the State of Israel in order to try to bring down a Prime Minister - and that's what's happening here, is irresponsible.”